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Hawkwind - Distant Horizons CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.26 | 60 ratings

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4 stars Hawkwind never ceases to amaze me, such a long and storied live and studio career, consistent with albums that are far from perfect (with the notable exception of "Warrior on the Edge of Time") and still the energy to party along at a slew of festivals (Britain's prog version of the Grateful Dead). Dave Brock is still the lead astronaut steering the mighty Hawkjet, a severely underrated nut case that has had its share of weirdoes like Lemmy of Motorhead infamy, the über-genial Robert Calvert (the only prog-punk icon and one of my heroes), the enigmatic Simon House, as well as Mister Bizarre incarnate Nik Turner. The spirit of Syd Barrett is not far away, boys and girls! These are invincible spirits, sticking to their original space boogie that blasted off with Apollo moon shots and Telstar satellites over 40 years ago! It should boggle any mind, including the sane ones who like adventurism but hate being screwed around by popular music who would affectionately appreciate theses histrionic cosmo-cruisers. This relatively recent recording (1997) is a typical messy affair as per their legend , the title opening track blows in some warm heavenly breeze , complete with babbling voices, creating a compelling sound scape (nice mellotron BTW!) for guitarists Brock and Jerry Richards (a Brock student no less!) to squeeze out some fine ramblings, hard and yet slippery , determined and devastating. Very icy! The fantastic "Phetamine Street" is raunchier as vocalist Ron Tree now mans a wicked bass, bodily slamming this rant into their much maligned punk mode, as binary as one can imagine , filthy guitars crunching galore (hey Porcupine Tree !) and synths bleeping like bleepin' crazy! (that one was for you, Lemming!). Close to the spirit of Bob Calvert (nice gesture!), this is purely infectious and downright slutty! "Waimea Canyon Drive" is a more conventional piece that evolves slowly snail-like until the chugging guitars shove this one along, very veiled and vaporous, almost delirious to the point one wonders what they smoke! "Alchemy" is a rocker with class, a bruising venture that slams forward, metal on metal, unflinching and totally convincing. This is how I know that I am an open-minded fan and reviewer, getting into my raunchier punk side with little pretense of ceremony. Wham bam, thank you captain! The audacity to propose two dissimilar tracks, one named "Clouded Vision"(a waft of fluff) and the other "Reptoid Vision", need I say more! The second is a seven minute explosion of insanity that will blow your sockets off, a true Hawkclassic with an unexpected mid section twist, swirling atmospherics that have a Tangerine Dream zest slowly increasing in beastly aggression as it veers towards a crash landing . Heavy baby, this reptoid! "Population Overload" is an electronic newscast with the usual bizarre narrative, metronome beat and oddball effects (FX), all classic Hawkingredients brewed together to conjure an ambient stew that is quite intoxicating (especially that little reggae shift!) just like with the Ozric lads. Stunning ! "Wheels" rolls down the cosmic highway, a typical murderous riff shoving this one along mercilessly, until it floats into a searing pool of inert invective aimed at oil (again Dave, like on "Hassan I Sabbah"?) and all the stooping highway stars. Nice! "Kauai" is utterly majestic, a welcome dose of surreal elegance and exalted grace that washes gently its benevolence over the mind. "Taxi for Max" is not a reserved cab for our founder but a chill- out bubble that will clear the club after the lights are up. A masterful finale that will appear everywhere on my playlists. "Distant Horizons" is frankly outstanding, an album that deserves an audience beyond the paltry couple of reviews here (c'mon Hawkfans, write !) 4.5 secluded spheres
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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